Thursday June 28

Litchfield’s Serafin outduels Bristol’s Matt Niedzwiecki in Classic Pitchers Dual
The Tri-State Baseball League’s Litchfield Cowboys and Bristol Greeners showed fans at Litchfield High School almost everything there is to like about baseball Thursday night in a 2-1 Cowboy win.
Complete-game pitchers Matt Niedzwiecki for Bristol (8-4) and Joey Serafin for Litchfield (11-1) dueled in wildly contrasting styles. Batters, especially Litchfield’s, rapped one long ball after another deep into an outfield that has no fence. Defenders chased almost everything down, including a spectacular Bristol double play starting in center field in the fourth inning. Hitters got hits when they needed to; pitchers and defenders did the same. Three Litchfield hits — the only Cowboy hits in the game — finally made the difference in the fifth inning.
Serafin, a Simsbury High School and University of Vermont graduate who played four years in the White Sox organization until this spring, is a left-handed pitcher with a fastball in the mid-to-high 80s. The fastball literally sizzles in his warmups. Nevertheless, Bristol’s John Pastyrnak (2-for-3) connected, with two outs in the first inning, for the game’s first hit, a line drive to short right field. Serafin (7 innings, 0 earned runs, 6 hits, 7 strikeouts, 0 walks) got a pop-up, strikeout and comebacker to the mound for the other first-inning outs.
By contrast, two of the first three Litchfield batters, in the bottom of the inning, blasted balls deep into the outfield for outs against Niedzwiecki (6 innings, 1 earned run, 3 hits, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk). Serafin had two more strikeouts and a Bristol hit (short line drive to left) in the second inning. Two of the three Litchfield batters hit long drives to the outfield in the bottom of the frame. Bristol’s Dave Casanova led off the top of the third with a line drive up the middle. Tim Georgian laid down a would-be sacrifice bunt. The throw to first was wild. Casanova, a four-year player at Trinity College, made it all the way home before the throw came back in to the plate. Then a throw from home to third caught Georgian trying for one more base. The Greeners led 1-0. “(Serafin) got me on a curve in the first inning,” said Casanova, 2-for-4 for the day. “After that, I waited for his fastball.”
Litchfield batters went deep to center field for outs two more times in the bottom of the inning.
Litchfield’s Chris Blazek in right field and Serafin on the mound joined the parade of nice defensive plays in the top of the fourth. Bristol’s Casanova, in center field, outdid everyone in the bottom of the inning. After another fly-out to deep center got the first Litchfield out, Adam Claire reached first on an infield error. Blazek hit the shot of the day deep into the left centerfield gap. Casanova, who made it to the NCAA Division III semi-finals with the Bantams, flew after it, making the catch of the week. Claire, already half-way to third, raced back to first. A perfect strike from Casanova arrived a split second before him for the out.
For all the resounding Litchfield blows, Bristol’s Niedzwiecki had a perfect game through the bottom of the fourth. “He didn’t throw many balls (out of the strike zone),” said player-coach Kyle Weaver. “I wasn’t worried,” said Serafin. “I’ve seen these guys put up 15 or 20 runs, day after day.” Serafin worked through two more strikeouts and a hit in the top of the fifth. Mike Odenwaelder led off at first on an error in the bottom of the inning. Niedzwiecki got his first strikeout of the game, followed by another blow to deep center for two outs. Then, the Cowboys found the formula. Caleb Buck, Kyle Robinson and Weaver followed each other with singles down the first base line, good for two runs and the lead. “I was just trying to shoot something outof the infield,” said Buck, who played for Bowdoin College this spring.
“(Serafin) can make it through seven easily,” said Litchfield stalwart pitcher Kevin Murray, standing by in case the Cowboy lefty needed help in the final two innings. Serafin didn’t. “He’s always around the plate,” said Weaver. “He just nibbles and nibbles at the strike zone.” One more Bristol hit, by Marco Ross (2-for-3), led off the sixth inning, followed by a sacrifice and two ground-outs. After giving up just three hits, Niedzwiecki finished just as strong — a strikeout, pop-up and ground-out for Litchfield’s final inning. By the top of the seventh, it was all down to the pitching — and one more long out — for Serafin. Two more strikeouts and a fly to deep center field.
Torrington Rebels  2  Lakeville Outlaws  0
The Torrington Rebels beat the Lakeville Outlaws 2-0 in a Tri-State Baseball League game on Thursday night at Fuessenich Park. Torrington’s Matt Keiser fired a complete game one-hitter. Keiser struck out five and walked just one in the victory. “He definitely had his good stuff,” Rebel manager Curtis Anthony said. At the plate, Alan Fredriksson had an RBI single in the first inning and an RBI double in the sixth inning to lead the offense. Bryan Failla (1-for-3) scored the first run while Angelo Calabrese (2-for-3) scored the second run. Torrington improved to 5-8 with the victory. The game was the last one this season for Jay Lovato, who will be traveling up and down the East Coast. “He’s going on tour with his band [All Hands On Deck) for a month,” Anthony said. Brandon Coe threw six innings for Lakeville (1-11). Coe gave up two runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Amenia Monarchs 9  Brass City Brew 8
Tom Moore hit the go-ahead solo home run for Amenia in the bottom of the fifth inning at Doc Bartlett Field in Amenia. Amenia and Brass City combined for four home runs in the game. Ken Shufelt also went deep for the Monarchs while Andruw Jones and Mike Padovani each had a home run for the Brew. Shufelt and Matt Hosier each had a double for Amenia. Amenia’s Andrew Wolinski threw four innings of scoreless one-hit relief to pick up the win. After Wolinski was taken out in the top of the seventh with one out, Jim Pomeisl got a double play to end the game and pick up the save. The Monarchs improved to 7-6. Mike Verroneau took the loss for the Brew, who dropped to 6-6.
Winsted Whalers 6  Thomaston Threshers 0
Adam Piechowski fired a one-hit shutout for Winsted against Thomaston at Walker Field.
Piechowski gave up a swinging bunt single to the first batter of the game, then only allowed two walks the rest of the way for the Whalers (6-6). He struck out nine in the game. Joel Castillo went 4-for-4 with two runs scored while Jeff Negron went 2-for-2 with a run batted in. The losing pitcher for the Threshers (3-9) was Eric Baba.
Bethlehem Plowboys 2  Wolcott Scrappers 1
Jon Conlon homered for Bethlehem at Gallup Field. Jason Krajeski picked up the win for the Plowboys, who improved to 11-1, which puts them in a tie with Litchfield for first place. Eric O’Toole’s sacrifice fly in the sixth scored Pat O’Neill with the go-ahead run. In the seventh, left fielder Dan Goscinski threw out a runner at the plate off an Adam LaCapra single to end the game. LaCapra had two hits for the Scrappers.
Naugatuck Dogs  7  Waterbury Wild  5
Trailing by two runs, Naugy scored five times in the top of the seventh for a come from behind win at Waterville Park. James Biscio scored the first run on a bases loaded wild pitch. Another error and strikeout and Sean Miller-Jones delivered a two run single and Devin Murphy followed with another single to bring in the final two runs for Naugy (9-2). Jack DiBiase led the Wild (6-6) with two doubles and a single.